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October 22, 1996

Summary XXXVI: Castle Exploration and the Revelation of the Death of Tan-El

Castle walls:

We completed the mapping of the Castle area by searching the walls for
trapdoors. We found two things of interest:

- some sort of spectre, haunt, or ghost that was rather easily destroyed
but reformed fairly quickly. It did NOT detect as evil. I suppose that a
rest eternal might put the spirit to rest before it reforms. Abjure and
Exorcism might also work.

- the entrance to the Castle Gatehouse complex. Many automata there. One
recent steel door. Castle defenses strong here.

Clearing blocks:

We cleared two whole blocks and searched the previously Sacrol controlled
area of two other blocks. Multiple small encounters. We fight a Banshee
beatle which was stunned by Sahrak's colorspray and quickly killed by
Ceydric, Claude, Xavier, Aria, and Eli.

Gatehouse: we spent the night in the Gatehouse. During the night we
noticed an illusion that lasted several hours and covered a huge area:

Thousands of people rushed the Gatehouse. They couldn't get through.
Hundreds were being stampeded and crushed by the huge mass of panicked
townspeople desperately attempting to escape. Occassionally a small
cluster of people would just die- their bodies horribly twisted and
burnt. Piles of dead bodies began to build up near the Gatehouse entrance.

Next a group of soldiers began driving for the gate- they pressed
furiously and started swinging weapons and killing the townspeople in
their path. Townspeope fought back by bashing the soldiers with their
bundles of possessions. Horrible death toll was building. Soon the
soldiers lost their unity in formation- broken by the sheer mass of
hundreds of panicked and dying townspeople.

Then we saw a group of clerics and priest coming from the direction of
the Temple district. There appears to be multiple small groups and one
big group of priest- In the center of the big group is one distinct
priest which appears to be the focal point. Amidst the mass panic and
confusion of the carnage, there is a remarkable calm in this group which
slowly makes its way towards the Gatehouse.

After a while, however, the main focal priest falls dead. The calm is
broken and the group of priests break up. Yet after alittle while the
different groups of priests join together to form another, smaller group.
This group makes it a good ways to the gatehouse before a cluster of
priests in the center die and the groups breaks up.

For the next hour, pure carnage is seen. The pile of bodies in front of
the gatehouse reaches six feet. Hundreds perish and the masses appear to
be growing more depleted.

Finally, only individuals are left running in multiple directions,
tripping over the thousands dead. They all would run around until
eventually they died, limbs blown apart by some unseen force.

After 5 hours or so the illusion stopped.

Downtime- Ceydric, Xavier, Sahrak, and Claude trained. Eli got spells,
Alegra found out about the shadow. Items were identified. Ceydric was the
first knight to be knighted in the reign of the new king.

On the way to Teft, Xavier was killed by a Wyvern. Luckly the Wyvern was
killed and his body recovered. He was raised, although things looked
pretty bad for awhile.

The end result is that the group should be reassembled in Middle by mid
November in order to conduct the bugbear attacks.


Other information:

Puzzle box: Will improve INT if you succeed, otherwise drive you mad

"Summit" Falchion Sword: Sword of Command. Allows you to lead troops
better. Raises Charisma. Has addictive side effects. If
someone had it for "more than a month or two" the sage wouldn't want to
take it away from them.

2H-Sword: Affects outer-planar creatures, good and bad and indifferent.
Appears to be a "devastating" weapon to outer planar creatures, and
probably can retain its powers and maybe even grow stronger on some other
planes, though the outer planes themselves would likely destroy it.
Whether "devastate" is +4, or includes other powers is unknown.

Shadow: "Deathservant" Basically, it is my soul, in reserve. Provides
a "backup" soul, in case you die, ahve your soul destroyed, etc. If this
happens, it immediately pops back into your body and you are at full health.
Only works once. All found on scroll, and all come from the reserve, at
least to his experience.

Oh, yeah, and the "Fencing Gauntlet" which we found in the Castle wall.
It gives +1 to all one handed melee weapons held in the right hand.


An incident occured some time during the time Alegra was reading _The Tale
of Years_. Ceydric's men-at-arms (in the Tan-El Library with Tellah) had a
story to tell us about it.

Normally their duties were to remain in the Library and wait for a knock,
look who it was, and let us in. They had lots of food and could remain a
long time. Though we were the only people who ever came to the Library (it
being in the middle of Tan-El), we still wanted them to check who it was,
for obvious reasons. Luckily, the men-at-arms decided to look who it was
before opening the door when a knock came [They made their intelligence
checks]. Outside, a man in plate armor, carrying a mace, knocked on the
door (with his mace). In a reasonable imitation of Ceydric, he spoke, "Men,
I'm here with the food." They did not let him in.


We have spoken before about the possibility of [insane] anarchists getting
into the Library and trying to free Tellah/Zardos. This is one more nail in
the coffin of the anarchists, in my opinion. "Bruce," the anarchist (with
magical Retaliatory Plate Armor), attempted to stall the starting of Middle
by sabotaging supply caravans years ago. We have had evidence of his
activity over time, causing monetary loss here and there to the Colony, only
indirectly to us. This fits his description. We can think of no one else
who would be interested in getting into the Library. Note also that we
didn't exactly try to spread the news about Tellah, but when you have
men-at-arms stationed inside, word will undoubtedly be spread
unintentionally. So, interested parties might have an open ear for such things.

Alegra's opinion on the anarchists, which might appear inconsistent at
first, is that they must be dealt with harshly. She is all for personal
freedoms, but she doesn't believe that ANY action resulting in the "death of
thousands of innocents" can be properly justified for defending liberties.
She is all in favor of locating, confronting, and destroying the anarchists.
(Call her Neutral Good if you want,) but the potential action by the
anarchists is nothing but evil, in her mind.

Does anyone agree?

(Provisional) Government of Tan-El

October 21, 1996

Summary XXXV: Xavier, Sahrak, and Recent SS Adventures

For those perceptive, Xavier has become less intolerant of Sahrak after
the 2H sword incident in which Sahrak used color spray to good effect.

After the recent Banshee beatle incident, Xavier became much more
accepting of Sahrak and his role in the party.

Also for those perceptive, mid way through the gatehouse illusion (which
I will describe shortly) Xavier started weeping heavily.

After his death and resurrection (by raise dead), Xavier became
slightly more serious, melancholic, and resolute.

Finally, after Carse, he mentions that he believes that the party doesn't
have to worry about the owner trying to track down the 2H sword. When
asked how he knows this- he shows a rather sorrowful look and says that
he doesn't want to talk about it. He obviously feels pretty bad about the

The sum total of all the events that happened pretty much in 2178 is that
Xavier has this look in his eyes of fierce determination but also great
sorrow (the kind one would get after seeing thousands die in front of
him and also being responsible of the death of innocents even though he
was ignorant at the time.)


October 15, 1996

Summary XXXIII: The Tale of Years and Other Things of Interest in the Castle


Game-results-in-brief (this means that the major attack force of Auguries
will be summarized into the important ones):

I. The Falchion Sword of unknown mind-affecting but no bonuses to hit, etc.
and not intelligent, recovered from the body of Gen. Quarath along with the
magical plate of protection from Magic Missiles.

It appears to provide a charisma and confidence boost that makes anyone who
carries it look cooler. It has been evidenced that everyone experiences
"withdrawal" symptoms if the sword has to be taken off, even to go to bed.

II. The Scroll in the Bah Nareth Sage Library (the Castle)

Would it be beneficial to the party to have Alegra (combined) cast Dispel
Magic on the Scroll's case by touching it? It is likely.

So, Alegra did so. The dispel on the trap worked. The Scroll was carefully
removed from its case and placed on a table. Alegra found no traps on it.
When she glanced at the scroll, a shadow of some kind rose up from the
scroll and enveloped her. The other people in the room felt their senses go
numb for a moment, and Alegra hair stood on end. Then, nothing obvious had
happened. It was promptly discovered that Alegra's shadow was magical, and
alive, and had an alignment like Alegra. Alegra's research on shadows
showed that all mentions were bad, but the shadow was able to follow her
onto Holy Ground.

Would dispelling the shadow by beneficial? Under no circumstances would it
be beneficial.

And BTW, the scroll disintegrated at this point.

So, we let it be.

III. The Box in Gen Quarath's room, hidden in a panel, that had an
_Antipathy_ effect that still keeps Claude from being able to enter the
entire tower it is in. It has an effect on it that Eli considers to be
area-of-effect as well as possible a _Death Spell_ or similar effect.

Would it beneficial to _Dispel_ the trap on the box and open it? An
answered question is not always pleasant.
Again? Rash action _will_ result in deaths.

We decided to leave the box alone.

IV. Sage Research

Tale of Years -- about Tellah, original attempt to write his life, person
who wrote it died.

Mithril Key -- he's sending for info., a Great Mithril Key was recovered
long ago from Tan-El and was ID'd in the Near Realm/Cromwell.

LE Force -- Found in older records about the area, esp. by Adventuring
Reserve parties come to kill the Behir who sold the sage of the time info on
the LE force in return for Behir info. (They did Divinations and Legend
Lores, because there was a lot of cash inside the L-shaped building in the
Castle of Bah Nareth, behind the brass doors).

The LE force is a small number (3 or so) Deathstealers. They are able to
steal a soul from a body from a significant distance and transform your soul
into a twisted, evil creature, and then install in your husk of a body an
evil spirit from nearby, thereby turning you into 2 enemies to continue to
fight your friends. They were intentionally summoned by the Council in some
way to destroy the Lightning creatures that were on the verge of consuming
Tan-El. They are probably imprisoned due to the careful contract with the
founders, but are just waiting to be released by someone. (On a hunch, I'd
say Tyner was probably involved).

V. The Book -- The Tale of Years.

Let us say that many, many auguries were done on the book. The eventual
result was that "Only true wisdom can be trusted to discern good and evil"
so Alegra prepared to read the book, by praying and fasting, and casting
ceremonies. She had the benefit of several party magical items and chants
that turned out to be irrelevant, as only really her wisdom came to bear.

It was exactly as we thought, imparting the life of Zardos in amazing
detail. Alegra had the opportunity to "cheer for the underdogs" or "follow
the path of power that Z learned towards vast power and evil." She chose the
former. Later, she had a decision towards whether to reatin the memories or
forget them, and she chose to remember them. Her wisdom saved her any
permanent damage, and she gained 15K experience. She then had to rest for
some time.

The Book fell apart and disintegrated at this time.

She can think about the story, but thinking for too long tends to give her a
headache and make her ill. The sheer repulsion of his evil deeds would
offend any good person.

Basic story:
Zardos is bored, expanding the frontier, kills the Grey people (probably
original inhabitants of the New World). People try to stop him, he wastes
them. Makes pipes out of the bones of the High Priests he slays (he goes
from being a great warrior to a great wizard as well at some point) that he
uses to whip his evil hordes into a frenzy. Makes a coat out of the
feathers of Devas and the Planetar he kills which gives him amazing
immunities and powers (appears to steal their powers in some ways). Makes
deals with LOTS of infernal Evil forces. More or less violates the ancient
rules about deity non-interference in worldy affairs (in spirit anyway).
When the good powers react by summoning a host, Evil takes it that this is a
violation in letter as well as spirit, and so helps Zardos more. Then,
turns on his own empire after more or less destroying the Grey People
empire, and begins to take over the Kepta empire (probably in the indicara
30 heroes of all his opposition (Kepta, Grey, others, about 1/3 Korian, 1/3
druidic and Grey people religions, and 1/3 other good religions) come up
with a plan to stop him, eventually setting on the plan to intentionally
lose, and allow him to take a "beneficial" magic item (the Great Warrior's
Ring of Prot +6) and put it on. He is stunned and shocked and falls down.
The Evil powers desert him and take his soul with them, but he still lives.
One of the three remaining heroes (not the strongest, but the ones that
Zardos wouldn't have considered to have been as much of a threat) tries to
remove the coat and the pipes, but contacting such evil destroyed his soul
and transforms him into a twisted wreck, which his comrades slay out of
mercy. The two people left are approached by Tyner, from Tan-El, who has
lived a long time and served on the Council, esp. as its leader, many times.
He convinces them to chain Zardos to the Library rather than kill him. It
is clear that Tyner is following the same road as Zardos once did, and the
writer of the book is greatly saddened by this. [A Life of Infamy, the more
accessible version of this book, indicates that he could NOT be killed,
which seems to contradict this book. It is my opinion that probably Tyner
had A Life of Infamy written anyway, and so he probably edited out the parts
about himself being on the road to evil].

VI. A question -- Yes, Tellah can understand Common now.

VII. The Auroran Treasure Map

It leads to the Witches Ziggurat (WZ), west of Miles High, and is clearly
ancient (contemporary to a thriving Tan-El and other ruins).
We go there and investigate. It is populated by a huge bugbear village.
Demon worship at the WZ has been reinstated in some way. We look at options
to destroy the entire village and the WZ.


October 08, 1996

Summary XXXII: Some Things We Always Meant to Get Around to but Never Did

1. Castle enclosed courtyard: killed a couple of mobile tentacle-using
trees (that looked dead): by lightning bolts and having Henry fly over them,
dousing them with standard oil and then lighting them on fire with arrows.

2. Explored other rooms within the castle tower:
More alchemy rooms, and a room with a research library on
Lightning-related magics, in Runic I. Within this room was a _Wizard
Locked_ cabinet which contained a RUNE for DANGER and a large locked book,
and a key. The book, which radiated Type 5 magic of ABJURATION/NECROMANCY,
was labelled "The Tale of Years." Before this, we had been told that in
opening the cabinet "No benefit could result." The _Augury_ for opening the
book and reading it was more ambiguous (and yet not): Would it be
beneficial for the party to unlock, open the book, and look inside? "Yes,
but vast disaster is the more likely result." "The Tale of Years" is an
often-used title for chronologies, but what this book does is up for grabs.
Here are some theories:

A. It's a lich-maker. If you read it, you become a lich or
have a better chance of becoming a lich.

B. It's ABJURATION side is linked in some way to the methods
used to contain the LE force.

C. In general, it could be a mini-codex of sorts.

D. There are many other possibilities, but it appears that it
SHOULD have some kind of link to the Lightning fetish of Tan-El and
this research library, but it is not clear that it does, since
NECROMANCY at the least has little to do with Lightning.

3. Puzzle box ID and "cantoulope rind" Though it appears that the Puzzle
box needs to be taken to a better sage (we believe it to be the
alchemy-kit-in-a-box), the "cantoulope rind" is a magical eye-protection visor.

4. Divination on L-shaped building within the Castle which is thought to
enclose the LE force (very interesting!): 5000 or so g.p.

"Forces of XXXXXXX have been left beyond the reach of
otherworldly forces. Mandred once held sway here. There is an overwhelming
chance of provoking the minor ire of many deities of good. There is a tiny
chance of enraging the forces of Lawful Evil."

XXXXXXX is a major archdevil of the underworld, and though his name
does not likely have the same effect as the last infernal power's name, it
is not wise to speak it.

Oh, and more inkling that going in the L-shaped building without a plan is
bad: Benefit from going through brass door? "Not by ANY measure."

Why colonize an ORDINARY ruined city, when you can have forces of vast evil,
death, destruction, decay, unknown dangers, all built by the
Sphinx-described "ambitious but lazy" golem-crazed former inhabitants of



October 01, 1996

Seapoint Lightning Adventure #3: Hecht's Rescue Party vs. the Witch

Hello, all!

There isn't too much to write about the Lendore Misadventures this past saturday. Well, here's the short of it:

14 characters (roughly half missile/half melee). Well tweaked, non-personality, loyal, but reasonably weak halflings, elves, and a bizarre hobgoblin.

We went to Hafney Hill to kill the halfling bandits.

We misdirected and ended up at the wrong hill (though we didn't know it).

A storm struck.

We had a group of three (very stealthy) scouting up ahead when the storm struck. They ran into some really scary creatures coming down the hill, being led by a human in a pointy hat. They attacked our woodsman, Mask, who managed to get out of the way and live (down to one HP). Our stealthy fighter/thief, Concord, (who had shot the creature once with his bow) was
zapped by lightning from further up and collapsed. Hecht and Mask retreated to alert the party. Concord took a last slash at the creature with his silver dagger in a heroic dying action (and actually did damage, though not much).

The rest of the party was then heroically nearly slaughtered. Of the remaining 13 characters, we decided to make a stand. The hobgoblin moved to a rear support position since he ruined our surprise. Then we set forward to outflank them, just as they circled around us and attacked the hobgoblin (affectionately called 'Bubba'). We then turned and attacked. The weird creatures in hooded robes were soon revealed to understand the language Demon, when our fun-loving cleric Auburn, commanded one of them to die, in Demon. At this point, lightning decimated the party, leaving like 8 people still standing. A timely entangle caught all of the demons after still more deaths. A timely command took out the witch, who had come around behind. Then the witch and the demons were killed systematically. We managed to save Hecht and Darryl. That left a total of six people remaining:

Hecht, thief (Mark)
Darryl, MU/thief (Jack)
Auburn, Cleric/fighter (Kyle)
Arutha, Cleric (Joel)
Fred, fighter (Jack)
Kerr, druid/MU (Mark)

All of Zack's and Sean's and Jeremy's and one of Joel's and my characters
were killed.

The witches necklace and a potion were magical. Some money was recovered, though much actually came from comrades rather than the witch.

Anyway, general chaos for a lawful party!


RIP Concord
Long live Auburn!

Summary XXXI: The Future

As far as has been apparent to me, the Party has made it its once-and-future
goal to do the following:

1) Clear Tan-El of evil, threats, mobile treasure able to benefit the
Party, and knowledge plundered from within.
2) Allow a gradual occupation of the city limits of Tan-El by the Stone
Soules and extended party.
3) Settle the city as an independent city-state in some way associated
with, run by, set up by, or otherwise related to the SS, but not a part of
nearby Dunador.
4) Figure out the technology (golems, electricity, etc.) in such a way as
to provide it for its citizens and government in a safe manner.

There are several stepping stones in this process:
1) Observatory/Base Camp construction. This is for closer access to Tan-El
than we already have and for slowly securing a path of access to the city.
It is between Middle and Tan-El.
2) Removal of the Behir. Despite the fact that this might otherwise be
just considered a "threat" to be taken care of, the Behir is of such power
that its removal is considered imperative for future expeditions.
3) Occupation of a section of the city (say, the Gate House, or the old
Ogre territory, or the Castle), with total "scrubbing" of every square inch,
4) Clearing of farm-land and setting of guarded lands about the city.

"Threats of Tan-El by The Sphinx"
1) Ghouls, the Undead everywhere, loosely aligned.
Comment: With GP and Sacrol gone, other undead must be removed slowly,
after other threats are dealt with, and as we sweep the city.
2) Ants NE in city. Must come up with ways to kill off colony.
3) Demonspawn Castle They have been removed, at least to a great
degree. If they return, we kill them, until they don't return anymore.
4) Bugbears more than we would guess. Need to be removed, but we can
probably scare off a lot of them. some have already left.
5) Golems gotta watch for "large city-disrupting force"
6) Mites many tribes. must be removed. 2 tribes down, some more to
go, not a huge challenge.
7) Hidden, dormant things (lots)

The major threat remaining is the Ants. We hope to bend the Golems to our
will ultimately.

Forces of Supernatural/Pure Evil in Tan-El
1) Tellah. Librarian of the Tan-El Library. His powers are greatly
addled, but his immortality/invincibility appears to still be in effect. He
is sponsored by an Unnamed evil deity, and during his life he killed good
deities Devas [and Edwin claims it says he defeated "two planetars," though
he didn't kill THEM and make headresses out of their feathers, but this is
speculation and hear-say] and thousands of other people. He admits that the
story is true, but maintains that his motivations are different from the
story that is contained in the library. The sponsorship by the evil deity
appears still to be current, since the binding magic we do not think
actually prolonged his life, but was just to limit his powers.
Doesn't like us, but has to put up with us. He can use his powers to
protect the library, and there is some thought that arousing his ire could
cause him to be released.
Divination: Very powerful creature.
"To shatter the retardation of the powers there is beyond your reach"
Some winner auguries about doing various things to Tellah:
"Partial success would result in the deaths of thousands of innocents."
"Vast disappointment will surround any unlikely survivors."
"Only vast disaster will result."
"Wounds will be nursed with the small comfort of disturbing answers."
Even worse is that all of this, especially the first two, would occur in 30
minutes or less....

2) Evil ooze of Tyner's tower.
Behind a heavily hybrid-trapped door is a being of pure evil in some kind of
black, highly magical tar (The Alchemist didn't like the sample of the
"essence of pure evil" we brought him; we still have it, in a nice lead
box). Whether the being is confined, free, alive, dead, happy or unhappy to
see us is unknown. The essence has leaked down from the uppermost level(s)
of the pagoda-like tower into a lower level. It does not appear to have had
ill effects on the lower level, other than a big stain on a carpet. Despite
everything else being maintained in glorious condition by magic and golems,
this stain has not been cleaned. The doors that lead upward are the trapped
ones, as is another door we have not been in. I just noticed the Alchemist
specifically said "the essence of a being of hideous evil, encased in tar."
3500 years or so has passed since anyone other than us visited the tower.

3) The Castle's Lawful Evil force.
It does not consist of Undead, Kobolds, Behir, or Mites, was not released by
the destruction of the GO. It IS supernatural evil. It is clear that
several combo portcullises and bronze (not brass) doors in the castle are
either holding back the LE force or are in some way involved with holding
it/them back. Auguries of opening them:
"Many would be mourned."
"Much grief would result."
Not quite Tellah-level, I know, but they were "vastly dominant" in the
Castle, and there was a much larger chance of disturbing them. The
creatures as a whole (including dead GO) are "vastly powerful." This could
actually imply a level of power above Tellah's. Khahoatep, whose coins we
have recovered quite a number now, greatly altered the Castle. The
alterations are unknown (probably secret) though strange holding cells were
built, involving distilled water and great panes of glass. It is not clear
whether the water system connects to the castle or not, but the main prisons
for Tan-El were under the castle. These bits of information may be relevant
or not... :)

4) GP/Sacrol. Destroyed.

Now the important question: Why are there so many forces of supernatural
evil in the area? The GP/Sacrol was probably "neutral evil," in the force
of its control, anyway. The Castle's force is lawful evil. We don't know
about Tyner or Tellah, but the creatures are clearly evil of some kind.

So, now we march on, hoping that the efforts are not fruitless, and that all
of these forces of evil may be neutralized (and hopefully/or) destroyed and
our plans for colonization may continue.

Also of note: Tan-El is the "Tunn-el" city which leads to another city, the
capital of its civilization, high in the mountains. A tunnel leads there.
We have not been there, but it is commonly called the City of the Gods, or
the City of Gold, etc.